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    Old 02-15-2008, 09:28 AM   #1
    paris99
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    still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    I went back to the surgeon's office, two weeks out from surgery, He said when he was doing the surgery the nerve to the vocal cord looked good, so he said he didn't know why I'm having trouble breathing and talking. He said give it a month and if I still have trouble he will send me to a e.n.t. specialist for them to put a camera down my throat to see what the problem is. When my husband too me back to the E.R. a few days ago, the Dr. there said he thinks I have a paralyzed vocal cord. My surgeon acted like he didn't know what the E.R. Dr. meant. The surgeon said to try to keep talking even though I sound awful. But when I try to talk its like the cords swell and then my breathing becomes even more labored and its harder to swallow, so I guess I will have to go mute for a month and see if things heal.
    Its very frustrating!!!!! I saw someones post that said they had one side of their thyroid removed too and it only took 45 mins. and they had absolutely no problems. Why did mine take 3 hours? I wish I had their Dr.
    Paris

     
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    Old 02-15-2008, 09:42 AM   #2
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    My surgery took in the 3-4 hour range, and I had a thyroid specialist, so quicker wouldn't necessarily mean better--plus you're sleeping anyway.

    My surgeon said there's lots of internal swelling, it can take months to go away---I didn't lose my voice, just couldn't extend it for a few weeks, it came back very gradually.

    I did take advil during the first month, that helps with swelling/inflammation, you could try that to see how it goes.

    I think your doctor is right, wait a couple of weeks, and then go to the ent, who can use injections, it took my friend several months to get her voice back ,they said her vocal chords were paralyzed, but it came back on its own.

    Rest your voice---dont' try to use it, it takes a lot of energy----I hope it comes back soon.

     
    Old 02-15-2008, 10:08 AM   #3
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    Thanks so much for the encouragement Reece, I will take your advice and not talk. Its so hard to write everything down on paper though, and how do you talk to people { like at the grocery store} or other places, carry a pad of paper around? One great thing was when the Surgeon took off the bandages I had no scar! He said he used stitches inside and glued the outside, isn't that wonderful? Paris99

     
    Old 02-16-2008, 10:40 PM   #4
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    Hi Paris,

    I had the same experience you did. My surgeon never told me that my vocal cord was paralyzed, but just kept telling me it would take time. When he was on vacation, I saw another doctor for a checkup before returning to work. He is the one who mentioned to me that my vocal cord was paralyzed and stuck in the open position. I asked him if I should stop talking. He told me to keep talking because that was the one thing I could do to prompt it to start working again. Exactly 2 months after surgery, it did.

    Stay encouraged, chances are good that your voice will return......:-)

    Trish

     
    Old 02-17-2008, 09:41 AM   #5
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    Hi Trish,
    Thanks a lot for responding. Everytime I try to talk to someone on the phone that doesn't have e-mail, its becomes very hard to breathe and then hurts to swallow. Its like, straining to talk swells my vocal cords or something, and its difficult to breathe for the rest of the day. I wonder if I should find an e.n.t. specialist sooner than one month, My surgeon wants me to rest it for a month. Its been over two weeks now since surgery and if I try to talk my voice sounds the same. I don't know if a month is going to make a difference. Isn't it funny how every Dr. has something different to say. I wonder sometimes if they even know what they are talking about. My breathing even become difficult if I whisper.
    Thanks Trish

     
    Old 02-17-2008, 07:29 PM   #6
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    Hi Paris


    DONT whisper!!!!! It can cause more damage. Please start drinking tons of water at room temperature. Cold will make you choke. NO throat losengers, menthol or mint!!!!! Bad for vocal cord.
    Drink with a straw, with your chin tucked towards your chest (aids swallowing)

    I had a paralyzed vocal cord for 8 months and I cannot imagine waiting. Please get to an ENT who has vocal cord paralysis expertise ASAP. IF the cord is paralyzed and does not heal spontaneously, you have some work to do!

    You need to get treatment immediately if this is a paralyzed vocal cord.

    Proper speech therapy, combined with a complete change of diet may help.

    Vocal fold injection brought me immediate relief! The injections, I had 2 along with 3 x daily vocal exercises brought me back to only 10% paralysis.
    If you want details, ck out my posts on the ENT, and Thyroid board.

    Tip: go to the search box on top of this page and just type in "vocal cord" and start going thru all the posts.

    And if you have questions for me I'll ck back.

    July

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 02:12 PM   #7
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    Hi julyg,

    I just found your message to me. Its real hard for me to figure out how to find my messages. They send me an e-mail and tell me to click on a link and when I do the person that sent it to me isn't there and I look all over and never find it. It was just by chance I ran upon your message to me. Thank-you very much!!! Now I hope you get this since it was last month that you sent me that.
    Swallowing has become better, and you are right looking down really helps. Why did you have a paralyzed vocal cord? You mentioned that you had vocal fold injections, what is that? Did it hurt? I haven't seen a e.n.t. specialist yet because I got the flu and bronchus real bad and have been to sick. All the coughing I have done hasn't helped my vocals any either. I still can't talk. When I have to or I try to I get a big lump in my throat and it hurts. I feel as though I have a big fur ball stuck there. Also, my breathing gets labored when trying to talk. Why is whispering so bad? It seems to not hurt as much. Also, what does diet have to do with the vocal cords? You will probably have to go reread your message that you wrote to me to even know what I'm talking about. Sorry! Hope you get this!
    Paris99

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 02:19 PM   #8
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    I was wondering how you were doing. I was hoping things would be better. That must have been h**l having the flu on top of the recent surgery. I know mine was around the same time as yours, and I was terrified of getting the flu with a hacking cough! Fortunately I didn't catch it from my daughter when she got her flu a couple of weeks ago!

    I really can't help with suggestions, but hope things get better for you!

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 02:33 PM   #9
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    Hi Sue1234,

    I'm not sure you were replying to me or not but if you were Thank-you. I was so thankful I got the flu 3 weeks out. If I had got it sooner I think it would have killed me. You said your surgery was about the same time mine was. Did yours go good? Did you have any vocal cord issues? I didn't even know it was a possibility.

    Paris99

     
    Old 03-07-2008, 08:08 AM   #10
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    Yes, paris, I was writing to you. I didn't have any problems with my voice or anything--except really bad constipation! Thankfully, I got through that.

     
    Old 03-07-2008, 08:30 AM   #11
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    Hi Sue1234,

    I can't believe I found you. Thanks for replying. I am so happy you didn't have any problems with your surgery!
    I am still having problems after 5 weeks going to the bathroom too. I always have,but I take [ Carlson] liquid Magnesium soft gels: 400 mg. I always have to take about 7 of them every night to be able to go, but since the surgery I have had to increase it to 11 a night to get the same effect. Oh well, At least its all natural, and thats the least of my problems. If you still have problems try that brand, its the best out there. I have tried every brand over the years and this one is great!! You probably would only need 1 or 2 a night. You can get it at a health food store if they carry that brand. I get mine at the vitamin shoppe. Or you can order it on line.

    Yours,

    Paris99

     
    Old 03-07-2008, 08:01 PM   #12
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    Paris I am here to help! First you need to understand how this website works.
    Type [url]www.healthboards.com[/url] you should automatically be signed in.
    In the search box (don't select a board) type "paralyzed vocal cord" and enter. EVERYONE who has posted with this issue will appear including you. That's how I found you. I do not look at the thyroid board as mine was paralyzed from spine surgery (they cut from the front of neck to work on the spine below head)

    I now want you to read Donna53 posts and frenchfri posts and read my replies.

    I cannot believe you have not been to an ENT yet! GO NOW! get a proper diagnosis but it sounlds like you do have a paralyzed vocal cord. Forget the surgeon he's scared you might sue as it happened during his surgery. Your general practioner cannot diagnose this and you have precious time to fix this.

    You have to be proactive! You must be doing your speech therapy, modifying your diet, DONT WHISPER!!!!! Does more damage to vocal cord.

    Of course you have trouble breathing if your vocal cord is paralyzed
    You do not have to live this way.

    Every ailment on each of these boards has a pro and unfortunately I am it for the paralyzed vocal cord. If you want to start a new thread go ahead I'll find it or we can continue here but I will make you proactive!

    Last edited by julyg; 03-07-2008 at 08:04 PM.

     
    Old 03-09-2008, 11:17 PM   #13
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    hi paris, this is donna (signed on as pevan) I also have a paralyzed vocal cord from having thyroid surgery and i know how very frustrating it is. It's been 4 mo. for me and I 'm still the same as I was when I was a fresh post-op. My surgeon told me to wait the 6 mo. but i went to an ENT doctor and he wants to do the injection for me while I wait to see if the nerve heals on it's own, after that he can do the inject. 1 more time (he says they usually last about 3 mo. If after that my voice still doen't return I'll need a permanent proceedure called a thyroplasty. Julyg has had some good advice. I'm currently going for speech therapy and have made diet changes like drinking room temp liquids or warm camamile tea (I've grown to like the tea , no spicy foods, lots of liquids to thin the mucus, I do the chin tuck and use a thickening powder to help me so i don't choke so much. I also have a lot of trouble with my breathing when i talk or when i become more physically active. Also i have started to have hiccups usally after i have had something to drink . this has started about 3 weeks ago. I just keep praying and try to find ways to keep myself occupied so I don't dwell so much on my situation. I know just what you are going through and hope both of us will have recovery. Try to hang in there! Donna53 (signed as Pevan)

     
    Old 03-10-2008, 06:07 PM   #14
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    Hi Donna,

    Yes, July was a big help to me too! I am trying hard not to whisper at least for the most part. I have noticed that my voice is starting to fluctuate in pitch and I think its because I'm using it like Donna said.
    You talked about the diet, and now I understand.....At first I didn't know what people meant about changing the diet. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I'm so sorry you have to thicken your drinks and that you are still, after 4 months having such a difficult time with things. Its almost been 6 weeks from when I had surgery and I have seen quite a bit of progress. If I hadn't gotten the flu so bad and coughed so hard I might be better, who knows. I'm not choking like I was. Once or twice a day. I still look down to drink, and that really helps but if I forget, most of the time I will choke. Foods don't bother me, I can eat what I want with no trouble. My breathing problem has gotten a lot better as well. I still notice it, but not like it was. It does get more labored as the day go's on and if I have strained to talk to much.
    When you went to the ent. did they put the camera in your throat? Did it hurt, and were you sore afterwards? July said I need to get to a ent. as soon as possible, and I plan on doing that as soon as I fully get over this cough from the flu. After being that sick, thats the last thing I want to do is have someone shove something down my throat. But I guess, when is it ever a good time right????? What did the ent. say was the exact problem? Do they know why there isn't any improvement yet? Scary huh?
    I really hope we both recover also, 4 months is a long time.
    Thanks for e-mailing me. Talk to you soon.

    Paris99

    Last edited by paris99; 03-10-2008 at 06:10 PM.

     
    Old 03-10-2008, 08:50 PM   #15
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    Re: still can't talk after thyroid surgery

    Hi Donna and Paris
    If you need to take medication try putting the pill on yogurt, it gives it "grab".
    The problem with swallowing is usually just with liquids not solids, and room temp. liquids go down and cold liquids bubble back up.

    Paris I never had the flu or cold with this but had what I called "sticky saliva" very thick mucous. My ent and speech therapist insisted it was from not enough liguids. They made me promise to drink a gallon of water or chamomile tea a day. Once I did the chiin tuck with a straw and only did warm or room temp fluids I could get it down without choking.

    Paris the diet is no caffeine whatsoever even decaf has caffeine so chamomile or cats claw tea is fine. If you look in spice aisle of grocery store look for Badia brand teas and they sell them at 1/2 the cost of Celestial. Nothing spicy, absolutely no menthol or peppermint dries up vocal cord and yours needs maximum hydration. No antihistamines or over the counter sleep aids like tylenol pm which dries up mucous. NO THROAT SPRAYS, again drying. After The initial surgery that paralyzed V.C. I was readmitted to a local hospital with pressure in chest and breathing issues (sound familiar? ) and I was misdiagnosed and was given throat spays, inhalers, Spiriva all terrible for paralyzed V.C.

    Right now you 2 know more about your condition than most medical personnel unless they are ENTS are speech therapists. Please protect yourselves.

    I hope both of you have spontaneous healing, but if not dont delay on the injection, you'll only kick yourself for waiting. Results are that good!

    July

     
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